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Women and Social Reform in Modern India

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Item Code: HAQ430
Author: Shweta Singh
Publisher: D.P.S. Publishing House, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9789383046010
Pages: 203
Other Details 9x6 inch
Weight 376 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of society rather than rapid or fundamental changes. A reform movement is distinguished from more radical social movements such as revolutionary movements. These social reform movements arose among all communities of the Indian people. They attacked bigotry, superstition and the hold of the priestly class. They worked for abolition of castes and untouchability, purdah system, sati, child marriage, social inequalities and illiteracy.

Social reform became integral part of religious reform in India and this was equally true of Brahma Samaj, Prarthana Samaj, Arya Samaj, Ramakrishna Mission, and Theosophical Society in Hinduism as also among the Muslims, the Parsis and the Sikhs. The social reform movement in India has aimed at uprooting social evils and inculcating in men and women the spirit of sacrifice for the general good of the society. Some of these reformers were supported directly or indirectly by the British officials and some of the reformers also supported reformative steps and regulations framed by the British Government.

About the Author

Dr.Shweta Singh has obtained her Graduate and Post Graduate degrees from Bangalore University. She specialises in English Language Teaching. She has obtained her PhD in English from Lucknow University and has also obtained Certificate in "English Language Teaching" conducted by Cambridge University. She has completed Online English related course from ALISON.

Dr.Shweta Singh has more than twelve years of research and teaching experience of graduate and post-graduate students, to her credit. Presently, she is working in a constituent college of the University of Delhi, as an Assistant Professor.

Dr.Shweta Singh has written many articles for the national and international journals of repute. She has actively participated in seminars and workshops, organised by the Education Department, for the upliftment of Education.


Women in modern India have largely been influenced by the programs of reform and upliftment which brought about a radical change in their position. Before the advent of British rule in India, the Indian women were in a quite a deplorable social condition with a number of oppressive rules being thrust upon them by society. With the various reform movements and a gradual change in the perception of women in society, there was seen a radical transformation in the position of women in modern India. They now emerged as educated, socially aware, competent "new women" with a strong sense of their individuality and increasingly looking towards newer avenues for self expression.

Colonial domination set the change in motion. The ideology that emerged to redefine gender relations was a mixture of new foreign ideas, indigenous concepts, and the response of Indian men and women to the foreign presence in their midst. Those who accepted the idea that society's ills could be traced to the oppressed condition of women saw female education and female emancipation as the first steps towards progress.

Thus there were radical changes in the life of the woman in modern India. There was seen a threefold change in the pattern on women's lives now. First, there were modifications in the appropriate activities for a female at different stages of her life. Second, the accepted area for female action was expanded. And third, individualism was now fast gaining currency among the people. Due to the reform activities and changes set in motion by the British conquest of India, by the end of the nineteenth century there were a number of women who were educated, articulate, mobile, and increasingly involved in public activities. In the rural setting life was dominated by the household for both men and women. With increased urbanization and the growth of new professions associated with colonial domination, work was increasingly separated from the home.

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